Thursday, February 9, 2012

Midnight Ride and a New Game

Did a favor for a friend tonight. Drove to a city about an hour away to pick something up, largely because we're night people and he is NOT. For me to drive for a couple of hours in the middle of the night is not unusual at all.

The first part of the adventure was adjusting to driving an unfamiliar car, since we used his car. Very interesting. I knew, already, that driving a car is a very specialized activity, meaning that people are highly expert in driving their OWN car, down to very sensitive responses to the feel of the car, the way the brakes engage, where the clutch releases, etc. In a different car, it takes a little while to adjust all those finely tuned skills. I successfully did not put us through the windshield, and I never stalled out, although I thought I was going to a time or two at the beginning.

The unexpected part, the new game we ended up playing, takes a little more explaining.

We are a family of car-singers. Do you know the song "Photograph" by Nickelback?  With this verse:

We used to listen to the radio
And sing along with every song we know
We said someday we'd find out how it feels
To sing to more than just the steering wheel

Well... we're in no hurry to get there. We're pretty happy with what we've got. 

Of the four of us, three of us almost always sing along with whatever we're listening to, and some songs, we've worked out who sings which part, so we even harmonize.

I'm not sure, however, that anyone else listening in would find it so harmonious. If someone ELSE is in the car, we don't usually sing so much. Or at least not as loudly.

Much of the time, it's my daughter and myself in the car. She has an iPod and an adapter so she can play songs from it through a cassette player, so she is in charge of the music.  Besides singing along for fun, we also sing along for "not falling asleep while driving" purposes. We even have a selection of things that are good for keeping me awake.

Remember? I drive long distances at night relatively frequently. Falling asleep would be a bad, bad thing.

Tonight, we were in an unfamiliar car. It has a cassette player, so we thought we'd be all set for our usual  habit, of singing along to our favorite songs.

What we DIDN'T know, is that this particular cassette player doesn't work all that well.
It blanks out. Randomly, both in frequency and duration.
We know it's the cassette player that has the problem because when it starts making sound again, the iPod has been merrily continuing along, and the song starts up again, not where it left off, but where it would be if it had been playing normally all along.

The first few times it did it, we were kind of bummed.

Then we started ignoring it, and just singing along anyway, as if it had never stopped.

After a few of these, we realized some things.

First, even if you have sung along to a song a thousand times, you may not actually know the words as well as you think you do.

Second, if it turns out that you don't, it can get pretty funny in a hurry.

Some songs, we know very well. Some we can fake it through. Some, we came to a complete full stop, with much giggling.

By the time we got home, we had been having so much fun that we wish we could make our car do it on purpose sometimes, just to play with it. Plus, as an added benefit, it definitely kept us wide awake!

There is a TV show that does a similar thing, called Don't Forget the Lyrics! I watched part of it once, and the way it works is that they play part of a song and then suddenly stop, and the contestant has to continue the lyrics for a few words in order to continue in the game.

Our car version is more fun, but clearly lacking in monetary prizes.

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